About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Do Animals Have A Soul?
From time to time people
have asked me if animals have a soul, or if animals will be in heaven.
Many pet owners wonder if theyíll see their pets in the next
life. Concerning pets having
a soul, Iím yet to be convinced if humans have a soul. We either have
a soul or we are a soul.
There is a difference between the two. And concerning heaven,
according to the book of Revelation, we'll spend eternity on the new
earth, not in heaven. Here's
the question we should ask. ďAre
animals a living soul, spiritual and eternal, as I believe humans
are?Ē If animals are
living souls, then physical death is not the end of an animal, as itís
not the end of humans.
In Genesis 2:7 we learn
that God created man from the dust of the earth.
Despite the common consensus that my distant ancestors must have
been monkeys, the Genesis account states otherwise.
After forming a lump of earth into a shape resembling a man, God
breathed into the lump of dirt and it became a living soul (KJV), or a
living being (NIV). I
suggest that when God breathed into that lump of dirt, He breathed
something of Himself into
it, making man a living soul, becoming both spiritual and eternal.
So are animals like man in this respect?
Are they living souls? Are
they spiritual and eternal
Genesis 1:30 and 7:15 tells
us that the breath of life is also found in animals, although we have no
written account of God breathing into every animal as He did with man.
Therefore, it would seem logical to me that if the breath of life
which came from God made man a living soul, the same breath of life
would make animals a living soul. That's
only my logic. It may not be
So I suggest that when God
breathed into animals, they became a living soul, both spiritual and
eternal, just like man. Iím
not reducing man to an animal, although at times we're probably not much
different. Iím just
elevating animals to a higher state of being than we might have
When I use the word
"spiritual" in connection with animals, I'm suggesting that
animals have the instinctive capability
of communicating with God in some way.
I suggest this because in the flood account of Genesis 6 they
instinctively left their abodes to find Noah so he could put them in the
ark. I believe God told the
animals to find Noah, and if that is true, then the animals somehow
understood God's will. I'd
suggest this to be somewhat spiritual.
Romans 8:20, which I'll comment on later, seems
to confirm this as well.
Genesis 1:26 tells us that
God made man in His likeness and image.
Likeness means that we are in some ways similar to God.
Image means that in some ways we are a shadow of God.
Scripture does not say that animals were created in God's
likeness and image, even though they have the breath of life in them
like man. That's what makes
animals different from us. They're
less God-like than us.
In Genesis 9:5 God said
that He would demand an accounting from every man and every animal who
takes the life of a human. I
therefore suggest that this accounting has something to do with animals
being a living soul, and being able to respond to God.
Shedding the blood of one who is made in God's likeness and image
is unthinkable in God's eyes. He
will judge both man and animals for this sin. As
far fetched as it sounds, it looks like animals will stand before God
and give account of themselves to Him.
I'm not sure what that looks like, but the text says it will
happen, so I have to believe the text.
God covenanted with Himself
in Genesis 9 not to flood the earth again.
God did not make this covenant for man's sake only.
The text says that He made it for all of creation, including
animals. Animals are clearly
important to God, as is all creation, to the extent that He included
them in this covenant.
I believe Romans 8:20
speaks to this issue as well. It
reads, ďthe creation was subject to frustration, not by its own
choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope
that the creation itself will be liberated from the bondage to decay and
brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.Ē
Paul is telling us that all creation is subject to the bondage of
decay and death, and that includes animals. Man isn't the only one
subject to such bondage. So
animals, along with the rest of creation are eagerly waiting the day
when they will be liberated from decay and death.
When the saints of God find ultimate salvation at the return of
Christ, animals will find the same salvation, or so it appears to me.
Jesus didnít die for
animals. Animals didnít
sin, although some might argue that point in connection with the
serpent. Jesus died for
human beings because we who were created in God's image tarnished that
image with sin. God, through
Jesus, provided the way to remove this tarnished image and restore us to
His original likeness and image. When
this is finally realized in its totality, all creation will be liberated
from decay and death. As
Phil Keaggy once sang, ďwhat a day that will be.Ē
All of God's redeemed will be singing along with Phil Keaggy on
that day, and that might include our pets as well.
You never know, maybe even the rocks and stones will cry out in
praise to God as well, since Jesus suggested that could be possible
(Luke 19:40). Who knows,
trees might join the rocks and stones in this song of praises too, as
seen in Isaiah 55:12.
At this point in time, I
think animals will be with us throughout eternity, and that would
include our pets. It sure
would be nice if Iím right on this point.
Iíve only had one pet in my life of 58 years, and heís a cute
little bichon dog named Jesse. Click
the following link to see his picture wearing my blues hat. You
won't see a cuter little guy than Jesse.